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Summer 2020

During summer 2020, efforts were underway statewide to revitalize waterfronts, which require balancing economic and environmental goals. Oftentimes this includes activities in the floodplain or contaminated sites. The selected fellows explore best practices for this activity and determine how individuals and community groups can influence the process.

Final products include regionally specific best practices for local governments, a guide for communities that explains the different local, State and Federal laws that could be at play as well as opportunities for communities to influence redevelopment planning ...

Booklet: Planning for Climate Change Where You Live: A Guide for Local Governments and Community Members on the Hudson River | PDF

“The goal is to provide local governments and members of the community with a basic overview of legal and policy information needed to plan for climate change on the Hudson River,” said Emma Alvarez Campbell, New York Sea Grant 2020 Law and Policy Fellow. 

Many communities across the country are considering climate change in every planning decision they make moving forward, especially if those communities are waterfront. The waterfront poses additional threats, like sea level rise, increased precipitation, and hurricanes. Zoning, comprehensive planning, risk/vulnerability assessments, and public engagement are all within the local government’s planning authority and are important pieces of the climate change planning process. Each of these steps serve an important role that every community can utilize.

Story Map: 
Canarsie Resilient - Mapping Resilience on Jamaica Bay | 
Click Here

This need for this story map, by Connor Atlas Lie-Spahn, New York Sea Grant 2020 Law and Policy Fellow, grew out of conversations with residents and activists in Canarsie, Brooklyn, about coastal resilience. 

A recurrent theme in these conversations was the use of publicly-owned outdoor spaces in Canarsie—spaces the community itself, ultimately, has the right, and the responsibility, to decide how to use. Community members consistently expressed that these publicly-held spaces are a key tool for resilience in the face of climate change, sea level rise, economic challenges, and, most recently, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But although these valuable lands are publicly held, a complex network of city, state, and federal agencies, statutes, and regulations governs them, making it difficult for community members to know how to exercise their rights. 

This required a streamlined, transparent source to access this otherwise scattered and incomplete information, helping to answer key questions necessary for community resilience actions: (1) What entities have jurisdictional authority over the lands? (2) What forms of resilience might this authority enable or disallow?

This story map brings together information about the agencies, statutes, and regulations in a straightforward and accessible format.

Story Map: The Lower Scajaquada Creek - Empowering Communities Through Historical and Legal Analysis | Click Here

This story map, by NYSG 2020 Law and Policy Fellow Nicholas Pistory, provides community members with an understanding of the history and laws that relate to the Scajaquada Creek area. The Scajaquada Creek is important because of its potential for revitalization. 

With recent revitalization along other waterways in Buffalo, such as the Buffalo River, the Scajaquada Creek could be the next location of local waterway revitalization. This project hopes to empower community members to have a voice in future projects that affect the Scajaquada Creek area. 

This story map has a few key focal points: (1) A history of the Scajaquada Creek; (2) A discussion of laws affecting the Scajaquada Creek - specifically, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and the Buffalo Green Code; and, finally (3) A discussion of some of the past revitalization projects and potential for future projects along the Scajaquada Creek.

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